Baldwin students hope to take future careers to new heights with aerial drone training program
Baldwin High School students are learning the skills to safely operate aerial drones and also gearing up to get certified.
The training coincides with National Drone Safety Awareness Week.
"I already had prior knowledge about drones, but I wanted to know deeper," says senior Nichealla Fongoo. She has been flying drones alongside her dad. It was a hobby of his, and she developed a thirst to dive deep into learning about the evolving technology.
"The pictures and action movies taken from drones are beautiful, and I wanted to know more about that," she adds.
Nichealla, along with over a dozen students at the school, are learning the skills of basic flight operation for drone aircraft through a technology course that prepares them for the FAA pilot certification exam.
"It's very fun. I really like flying drones, especially when we have obstacle courses. It's very challenging," says junior Perris Harris.
Working in teams, the teens assembled the drones, sent them up in the air, and navigate an obstacle course.
Students say they hope learning how to operate a drone will take their careers to new heights.
"This is our future, so in part the pride comes from knowing that we are really preparing our young people," says Superintendent Shari L. Camhi.
"They should bring in more classes like this with modern technology and help students prepare for the future," says junior Tyler Spataro.
The lessons extend beyond the classroom. Even if it is not exactly the career path the students are looking to pursue, they say it is a wonderful hobby that they are eager to learn more about.
"I like the class. I think it's fun, it's a good break in the day, it's a fun new thing to learn, and it's a nice experience," Spataro says.
"It's a break from sitting at tables and having to write and being on your laptop. At least this way, you can have fun, see different point of views on the drones and also learn more about it," Nichealla says.
Saturday is National Drone Safety Day. The message for this year is "fly right, it's the safe way to fly."